austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Free of any made-to-order liabilities

One little thing at the Popcorn Park Zoo. They've had a coati there, Cocoa. I came to know of him when skylerbunny bought me a sponsorship of him as a really creative, imaginative birthday present. I've stopped in several times --- not enough, really, but it's a small zoo and out of the way from anything else --- but, hey, a real live coati and just one zip code over. I'd have to stop in and see if I could get any decent pictures of him --- it's very hard because coatis are pretty much always moving, and all their enclosures are wire-fenced in --- while I had the chance.

So I did walk down to the area where Cocoa's cage had been, and found ... nothing. Well, not nothing, since the enclosure had been turned into a chicken coop with a fair number of birds in it, but, no coatis of interest there. I wondered if I'd just misremembered where he was, but while I could get the exact spot wrong, I couldn't have confused the aisle his cage was on, and there wasn't anything there. It went from goats to deer without the coati interlude.

I worried about the possibilities, naturally. Some were innocent: they had a new enclosure. Some were maybe positive: they'd placed him in a better facility, maybe with the zoo (which has several locations), maybe with another agency. Some were depressing: what if he'd died? Or was too sick to be on display?

The happiest of explanations was the right one: he had a new enclosure, one of a triptych of larger enclosures which failed to register with me when I walked past them. Unfortunately this means in afternoon visits he'll have sunlight streaming in from behind, making photographs all the harder, but it is a larger enclosure with more stuff to play with. Although, most of this visit, what Cocoa was really interested in was the barrier leading to the adjacent cage, which held a rabbit. (Also a pair of discarded Christmas trees, the branches of which I suspect Cocoa was nibbling on.) I could hardly be expected to resist the thematic appeal of a coati and a bunny being in adjacent cages and the coati acting as if the most interesting thing in the world was getting into the bunny's cage. (Actually there were at least three bunnies in the cage.)

Unfortunately given the angles and Cocoa's determination I couldn't get any really good pictures of him. I did have hopes when feeding time came around --- I knew it was about 4:00, and Cocoa knew too, since he hopped over to the door in anticipation --- but they fed him with a dish that was put into one of the shelters, so he had a meal beyond the reach of photography.

Trivia: In 1863, under the direction of John C Frémont, the moribund Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western railroad renamed itself the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, providing confusion for investors looking for Union Pacific stock. Strangely, no infringement lawsuit was ever filed. Source: Empire Express: Building The First Transcontinental Railroad, David Haward Bain.

Currently Reading: Chrysalis 9, Editor Roy Torgeson.

PS: Where Interpolations Go Wrong ... and where they're pretty good still, actually.


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